Afghan Officials Join U.S. Talks With Taliban
A new stage of peace talks with the Taliban militant group started in the Qatari capital on July 7. Following seven rounds of U.S.-Taliban peace negotiations, Doha is hosting a two-day peace conference bringing together Taliban and Afghan government officials for the first time. Taliban negotiators asserted that their representatives were only attending in a "personal capacity." Until now, the extremist group has refused to talk directly with the Afghan government, calling it a puppet of the West. The event is hosted jointly by the Qatari and German governments and is also being attended by U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.